Francesca Rudkin is an entertainment reviewer for NZ Herald.

Movie review: Nightcrawler

Add a comment
Jake Gyllenhaal's Bloom is memorable, articulate and creepy.
Jake Gyllenhaal's Bloom is memorable, articulate and creepy.

Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Bill Paxton, Rene Russo
Director: Dan Gilroy
Running Time: 117 mins
Rating: R16 Violence, offensive language, content that may disturb

Verdict: A refreshingly dark and witty satire.

The American dream is given a twisted makeover as Jake Gyllenhaal goes to extreme lengths to make a living post-GFC.

Gyllenhaal plays Lou Bloom in screenwriter Dan Gilroy's debut feature, a satire set on the nocturnal streets of Los Angeles which explores the sensationalism of if-it-bleeds-it-leads television news.

The story's told from the perspective of Bloom, an obsessive guy struggling to find a job who decides he'd make a great video stringer, otherwise known as a nightcrawler.

His freelance role has him monitoring police call-outs and flogging the footage to local television stations.

Turns out Bloom, with no ethical or moral hang-ups, is well suited to his new job and more than happy to push the boundaries to deliver to hard-nosed veteran news producer Nina (Rene Russo, the director's wife) the kind of footage that drives ratings.

It's a great story, told with a dark sense of humour that mocks our voyeuristic desire for grim salacious images by turning the person who sources it into a business success - and a monster.

Bloom is a memorable, articulate character who has learned everything he knows from the internet, and delivers great spiels about work culture, ambition and his own attributes.

He's also wide-eyed, creepy and unemotional, and arrives at the start of the film fully formed. Gyllenhaal pushes Bloom to see how far he'll go, but his character is also one-dimensional, and doesn't evolve.

This doesn't stop Gilroy's bitingly sharp commentary and, even if Gyllenhaal's Bloom doesn't entirely resonate, Nightcrawler is still an amusing, menacing and entertaining film.

* Follow TimeOut on Facebook

- TimeOut

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf03 at 24 May 2017 08:47:42 Processing Time: 458ms